Spirited ONGC hold Mumbai FC

Mumbai FC were held to a 1-1 draw by Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in a crucial top of the table clash of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite Division at Cooperage on Saturday afternoon. Hasan Gollwala opened the scoring for ONGC before, Karan Sawhney equalized for Mumbai FC just few minutes later.

Mumbai FC Head Coach Khalid Jamil rested a host of his super stars which included Taisuke Matsugae and Ashutosh Mehta who started on the bench, while new signings Arata Izumi and Ryuki Kozawa watched from the stands.

The game got off to a sluggish start as both teams took time to settle into the game until ONGC came close with Enock Annan who pulled his effort wide in the 10th minute. Two minutes later, Mumbai FC were denied by the upright after Shilton D’Silva’s shot after cutting inside from the left flank was tipped onto the post by the ONGC Custodian.

Karan Sawhney almost broke the deadlock in the 15th minute when he guided a brilliant Steven Dias cross on target which was kept out by the ONGC goalkeeper Rahul.

Seven minutes later ONGC took the lead through Hassan Golwala who sent a looping header into the Mumbai FC net after goalkeeper Pawan Kumar failed to get to the ball having come off his line to collect a corner kick.

Mumbai FC responded just three later when Karan Sawhney lobbed a perfectly weighted lofted pass from Eric Brown to draw Mumbai FC level. Mumbai FC throught they were awarded a penalty when an ONGC center back handled the ball in the penalty area. The referee who pointed to the spot initially reversed his call with consultation with the linesman and the game remained level pegging.

Mumbai FC were rocked by an injury blow to defender Anwar Ali who had to stretched off thanks to an injury to his ankle as the an eventful half ended with both teams tied at 1-1.

The second half was an even contest and Mumbai FC goalkeeper Pawan Kumar produced a superb save to tip over a vicious drive from Enock Annan early in the second half.

Khalid Jamil threw on Ashutosh Mehta in place of Shilton D’Silva at right back and the Mumbai City FC full back almost delivered the goods when his pin point cross found Allan Dias unmarked in the box in the 72nd minute, but the left back could only head wide.

Khalid Jamil’s last roll of the dice came in the 80th minute when he put in Taisuke on in place of Min Chol Son. The Japanese very nearly unlocked the stern ONGC defence with a darting run at the heart of the defence before being outmuscled on the edge of the area as Mumbai FC appealed for a foul on Taisuke. Minutes later, ONGC almost caught Mumbai FC out with a breathtaking counter attack which saw Parminder Singh race clear on the right. But the youngster went for glory instead of squaring it to Kailash Patil who was in achres of space around the six yard area.

Mumbai FC pressed for a winner in stoppage time, but ONGC calmly saw off the game to collect a highly credible point which sees them continue their unbeaten run in the competition.


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